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The lynching of Colten Boushie

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I'm going to stretch a point here in my use of the word "lynching," which refers to an extrajudicial killing by a mob.

Only one person actually shot 22-year-old Colten Boushie. But we know that even in the deep South, the crowds of crackers and clodhoppers who exulted in the sadistic killing of Blacks were not all physically involved in the hanging, shooting or burning alive of their victims. Most watched, applauded and had their pictures taken with the bodies of their prey.

The murders themselves didn't happen without a context. The mobs existed before the killings, and persisted afterwards. They consisted of local white society, rotten to the core with racism, erupting from time to time into orgies of hatred and cruelty. Latent or active, the mobs were always present.

The comments captured above, from some of the backwoodsmen of Saskatchewan, are, then, familiar. They were found on a site attempting to raise money for one of their number, Gerald Stanley, the one who blew away a young First Nations man for the crime of seeking help to fix a flat tire.

Their words suffice to introduce them to the wider world of civilization, such as it is. After the killing, the racist mob's ranks swelled in the virtual world. A mob is a mob, and these knuckledraggers are part of it, even after the fact. A high-tech lynching of a dead man is continuing even as I write this, more obviously the case than was the hearing that Clarence Thomas complained of.

"That's what you get for trespassing," the killer's wife reportedly said to the surviving kids in the car. The Stanleys were obviously a match made somewhere, but I suspect not in heaven.

There's a GoFundMe for Boushie's family to help with a traditional funeral.

The local white farmers are going to have a fundraising steak dinner for the killer, too. One can well imagine what the conversation will be like.

The RCMP, historically renowned for its even-handed treatment of First Nations people*, lost no time issuing a press release that by all accounts could have been written by the killer's yet-to-be-named defence lawyer.

Here's a pretty good analysis of the wording. The Mounties dropped a heavy suggestion that the occupants of the car were there to commit theft, and indeed the survivors were all taken into custody -- and then released, with no charges laid. But the RCMP is saying that they could be laid. Or might be.

At least the cops charged the farmer with second-degree murder, though. So that's something.

Colten Boushie. Say his name. And may justice be done. This is, after all, 2016, even in rural Saskatchewan.

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*Sarcasm, for those who apparently missed it. The RCMP has been anything but even-handed, of course, as anyone with even a passing knowledge of Canadian history is aware. The force's historic role has been to contain and oppress First Nations and Inuit people. There are too many examples to count, many of them recent. Elsipogtog is one that leaps out right away; and here's another:  http://www.straight.com/article-151230/rcmp-clears-itself-pepperspray-co... To that we might add the RCMP's neglect with respect to the Pickton murders in particular and MMIW in general.

 

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